Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Maddy Ramsey knew she wanted to be a fashion designer since she was a young girl. While doing college research during her junior year of high school, Maddy first discovered FIDM. She signed up to attend 3 Days of Fashion and served as President of her high school’s FIDM Fashion Club at Hardin Valley Academy. After being accepted early to the college, Maddy earned her A.A. in Fashion Design in March 2021 and will be graduating in 2023 with her Bachelor’s in Business Management. She is currently pursuing her International Manufacturing & Product Development (IMPD) degree, a 9-month program in which FIDM partners with a top brand and students master all facets of the product development cycle. This year, the FIDM industry partner is French brand Palladium. We caught up with Maddy to learn more.
What are you currently working on in the IMPD program? Right now we are preparing for our second meeting with the Palladium headquarters in LA. We are critiquing our presentation, sketches, color pallet, and getting ready to have our collection presented to Palladium in February.
So far, I feel like a big milestone for the program would be getting to go meet with Palladium and have the first initial meeting to talk about who the brand is/who they are and what they pictured us to do for them in our partnership. It was the first big meeting I had gone to as a designer and it definitely felt like a ‘Hallmark moment’—the small town girl makes it in the city and is a designer moment. 🙂 I am not sure when the reveal is but we do have our second meeting with Palladium in February and then we will go from there.
Tell us about your experience working with this IMPD cohort: I absolutely love the students in the IMPD cohort. We work really well together, laugh together, hang out after school, and have a lot of fun together. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and have learned how to use our talents all together and create a very unique collection that we are all very excited about.
What do you like best about the IMPD program? My favorite part of the IMPD program is the “doing not just learning” of the program. We are now using our skills from our Associates Degree in real life to design for a real brand. How crazy is that! I am designing for a brand WHILE still in school! It is amazing and such a neat hands-on industry experience.
You were a FIDM Fashion Club President at Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville, TN. What are your favorite memories of that time? Some of my favorite memories from running a FIDM Fashion Club at my high school in Tennessee was getting to unite the fashion lovers and creatives who didn’t really have a voice to all come together to be creative together and learn from one another.
What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there? One day I would love to own my own luxury gown brand. FIDM is helping me get there by learning the skills from being a designer, to technical designer, the production side to fashion, and the business side of fashion. Coming out of FIDM, I will be very well rounded in not just knowing how to design/sew but also how to produce my clothing as well as market and sell it. It is so important as a fashion designer that you not only know how to design but also how to run your own business and get your designs out to the world.
Learn more about FIDM’s International Manufacturing & Product Development (IMPD) program and follow Maddy’s journey on IG @maddy.ramsey.